Delicious Commentary with Nashville Based Americana/Folk Duo, The Harmaleighs [Interview]

The Harmaleighs

1. How did the Harmaleighs come to fruition?

We met through a mutual friend at school. We first started playing music together in the winter of 2012 with a six-piece group. We ended up stripping it down to just a few of us, which turned into The Harmaleighs.

2. Tell me about the name.

Haley+Kaylee+Harmony= Harmaleighs

3. Tell me about your writing process. Where do you get your inspiration?

Haley: I get my inspiration through my own experiences. And when those aren’t exciting enough (ha!) I listen to music and get inspired. Some artists that inspire me on the daily are Brandi Carlile, Andrew Bird, & Norah Jones.

4. What is it like living in Nashville and how does it inspire your music?

Living in Nashville is like being the teeniest, tiniest feeder fish in the deepest, darkest ocean. Everyone writes/plays/sings and everyone does everything really well. It’s actually strange to talk to someone that isn’t in a band or doing something else cool. This immensely inspires our music. We listen to peers around us who are at the same level that have AMAZING songs and that really pushes us to write the best material that we possibly can.

5. Are you an independent artist or do you have label support?

We are like the ‘Al La Carte’ at a Mexican restaurant. We get some help from friends & family but we do everything ourselves.

6. What is it like being an artist in 2014 with the industry in the state that it’s in?

Hard. Labels aren’t signing artists. So if you’re really in it to win it you need to learn how to play the game. In the past year and a half we have learned how to promote a band, book shows, monitor our image, build a website, design tee shirts, & of course make the music. It can be difficult at times because you have to wear so many different hats- however we think that a band that knows more about the business side of things will be better in the long run.

7. You released ‘People Line Up’ in 2013. Talk a bit about that process and where it’s taken you in your career.

Well, that has a funny story. We knew a guy who could get us into a studio with an engineer, for free, for about 10 hours. So we said ‘Okay, let’s record an EP in that time real quick.’ (it normally takes A LOT longer). So we went in with the 5 songs picked out already & met our engineer, Paul Rossetti. Paul has ended up helping us with numerous projects, became a super fan, and has played some shows with us! ANYWAYS, we recorded that EP as a quick introduction to the band. We wanted to get some music out. After we recorded that, we got to do some touring & got some ears of industry professionals listening. ‘People Line Up’ was a good start and we are happy its out. However, ‘Pretty Picture, Dirty Brush’ will be our true introduction.

8. ‘Pretty Picture, Dirty Brush’ is slated for an early 2015 release. Tell me about the process of making your first record?

We were in a showcase through our school (Belmont University) and one of the judges was Travis Terrell. We ended up getting coffee with him afterwards and he told us that he was a producer & has a company with his buddy, Micah Sannan, called ‘Levelo.’ All of our personalities just clicked and Kaylee & I knew we wanted to work with them right away. The whole process took about 4 weeks time. We spent a week tracking the record. That means just the bare bones: voices/gtr/banjo/mando/bass. Then we spent a few more weeks adding ‘fairy dust’ which means the music you may not hear on the first listen. It’s a soft pedal steel in the back or the bells in our track ‘Doll Made Of Glass.’ Travis & Micah brought our songs & music to life. They pushed us to think critically and encouraged us to work harder. We feel that we have truly found our sound with this record, and we can’t wait to see where it takes us.

9. How did “Delicious Commentary” come about?

Kaylee & I were trying to think of fun ways to do a commentary about each song to get everyone excited. Kaylee then, the little chef that she is, came up with the idea to pair a recipe with each song. In order, the songs are going to lay out a full 10 course meal!

10. What’s your favorite kind of food?

Kaylee: My favorite type of food is Italian, specifically spaghetti and meatballs. I grew up in an Italian family and nothing was better than coming home from school and smelling my mom’s homemade spaghetti sauce. I try to recreate it myself and it’s really good, but it will never compare to my mom’s.

Haley: My favorite food is Green Olives. When I was little my mom would let me eat 8 a day after dinner. If I didn’t have a limit I would eat the whole jar & drink the juice. Ovbi we’re lyke really healthy.

11. Who’s the best cook in the group?

Kaylee for sure. Before Kaylee and I moved in together I had the diet of a 5 year old. I would eat dino nuggets & Mac and cheese. Kaylee surprises me with her cooking everyday.

12. What’s your worst recipe fail?

Kaylee: A few years back, Haley & I found something on the internet and decided to try it. A Fruit cleanse. We were to eat nothing but fruit for 24 hours. I was trying to come up with unique recipes to make the cleanse a little easier on us. I came up with a Thai fruit roll. Haley will never let me live this down, as it’s been 3 years and she still brings it up. It was the worst, soggiest, nastiest thing I have ever put it my mouth.

Haley: Typically, everything I make tops itself as the worst recipe fail. Even simple things. I think the government actually put a restraining order on me & any kitchen ever to be built.

13. Do you have any other delicious pairings in the works and what can we look forward to in 2015?

We will be releasing a recipe for each song! (10 songs). Nearly every week from here on out you can be looking forward to that. Just wait until our main dishes!

Lana Del Rey Brought the Fandom to Grand Prairie, Texas [Review]

Lana Del Rey - West Coast Single

Disclaimer 1: I am a Lana Del Rey fan

Disclaimer 2: I am a singer

When I first heard Lana Del Rey’s breakout single “Video Games” I have to admit…I wasn’t completely sold, but I was definitely intrigued. Her seductive tone and alto range was different and refreshing next to the powerhouse vocal stylings we’ve seemingly come to expect from female pop vocalists. She’s no Beyonce or Ariana Grande, she’s Lana. And the throng of screeching teenage girls at Wednesday night’s show proved that Lana doesn’t need to prove herself to anyone.

Lana Del Rey - Dallas Review

From the time she sauntered onstage in a simple, off the shoulder red dress with no shoes to the first line out of her mouth, “My pussy tastes like pepsi-cola”, the 6,000 sold-out theater erupted as if Harry Styles had taken his shirt off and pledged to make out with one lucky fan in attendance. I don’t even remember Justin Timberlake receiving this kind of response when I saw him in Houston a few months back. One thing is for sure, Lana’s fans could care less about her lackluster SNL performance that sent critics in a frenzy claiming the luscious lipped songstress was done, or that every news outlet in North Texas is criticizing her simplistic, haunting (and yes, somewhat pitchy) vocal abilities. So back to disclaimer 1. Yes, I am a fan, maybe not the shaking-until-I-lose-my-mind-rush-out-and-get-lip-injections type of fan, but a fan nonetheless. I was enthralled. She did what she does best. She drew the audience in with her hypnotic voice and dark songs of love, drugs and freedom.

Lana Del Rey - Dallas Review

The reasoning for disclaimer 2, I have a big voice, and I love big voices. I grew up on the likes of Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, and had a choir director mother who sang her guts out on stage from the moment I was conceived. It’s easy to criticize a singer like Lana for not being “big enough” and for not delivering the show stopping performance we’ve come to expect from over the top performers like Lady Gaga and most of her pop predecessors. Yes, Lana comes across as incredibly shy onstage. Almost to the point of awkwardness, but her songs resonate, and to me, there’s nothing more important.

Lana Del Rey - Dallas Review

Getting down into the pit of fans, taking selfies and signing autographs mid-show, it’s obvious Lana loves her supporters, in fact, I would say she feeds off of it. Some would call it self-indulgent, and maybe it is, but it added to Lana’s Old-Hollywood persona that she has so perfectly crafted. From images of Marilyn Monroe to the celebrity images from her “Video Games” video, there’s a charm and mystery to Lana that eludes most artists in today’s celebrity culture.

“I feel really lucky to be singing in front of you,” she said to the thousands of screaming fans, “because there’s a connection, and you get it.”

And a connection there was…more than most shows I see. Lana fans relate and Lana loves to connect with her fans. So in my opinion, she did exactly what she set out to do Wednesday night. Put on an amazing show for her fans.

Dallas Set List:

Cola
Body Electric
Blue Jeans
West Coast
Born to Die
Young and Beautiful
Carmin
Gods & Monsters
Summertime Sadness
Video Games
Millions Dollar Man
Radio
National Anthem

New video! The Way You Love Me – Acoustic Performance!

Sarah Sellers - The Way You Love Me (Acoustic)

I am soooo excited to share my new single with you guys on Valentine’s Day. I am absolutely in love with this track and since the origins of the song started with an acoustic guitar and vocals, I thought I’d put together an acoustic version for you guys.

I had a blast shooting this at the beautiful Majestic Theater in Dallas with the amazing Justin Goode, Steven Reeves and of course, Josh Goode on guitar. Check it out, let me know what you think in the comments below and don’t forget to download the single on Valentine’s Day!

New Single Release & Snackin’ 2014

Sarah Sellers "The Way You Love Me"“THE WAY YOU LOVE ME” – COMING 2-14-14

Happy 2014 everyone! I’ve been a bit absent on my blog lately but for good reason. Music has been so good to me over the last year and I can’t wait to finally share my new single, The Way You Love Me, on Valentine’s Day.

Make sure you subscribe to my YouTube Channel. Over the next few weeks I’ll be posting an acoustic version of The Way You Love Me, followed by the official music video in February.

It’s also that time of year again for Snackin’ with Sarah Sellers. Yahoo’s Lyndsey Parker has asked me to join her again during Season 13 of American Idol. So make sure you follow my blog so you don’t miss out on this year’s recipes!

Here’s a sneak peek at what’s been going on with me:

New YouTube Video! Jessie J’s Wild – Remix!

Jessie J's Wild - Covered by Sarah Sellers

When I first started doing covers on YouTube a few years ago it was a pretty simple process. Sit down in front of my webcam, sing to a track, save and publish. Then I started incorporating piano, a better camera and my OCD. When the hallow room sound wasn’t working for me I switched to GarageBand then eventually upgraded my camera to a Canon Rebel T3i.

As the “upgrading” continued so did my OCD and need to perfect every video. When Jessie J released her newest single Wild off her upcoming album Alive in May I instantly knew I wanted to cover it. I sat down with my producer Josh and said I wanted to do a quick, in the studio, acoustic video that week. I didn’t want to miss out on capitalizing on the current buzz. When he listened to the track he heard more than an acoustic version and came up with an entirely new remix of the song. I fell in love with the track and wanted to do more with the video than just singing in front of a mic….and then the shooting and shooting and reshooting began.

The moral of this story is 6 months later and a serious check on my OCD I eventually went back to my original idea of shooting in the studio. It’s so easy to get caught up in the cover world of competing with the slew of YouTubers for the best video that you can lose sight of how blissful simplicity really can be. So after months of experimenting I’m excited to put this out there and move on to the next thing….which I’m excited to announce will be the release of my first single. I’ve been working with the super talented Josh Goode and Bradley Prakope for over a year on my original material and I’m so excited to release my first single in the next few months.

Check out my new video and get ready for some original music SOON! XOXO

Imagine Dragons Ticket Giveaway – South Side Ballroom

Imagine Dragons

A year after their major label release, Night Visions,  Imagine Dragons show no signs of slowing down. With a world tour booked through December the Las Vegas based quartet is having the best year of their career. Coming off the heels of mega hits like “It’s Time”, “Radioactive” and “Demons”, Imagine Dragons is in no hurry to rush into the studio to record their sophomore album.

“I think ‘Night Visions” has a lot of breath and life left in it,” frontman Dan Reynolds tells billboard.com. “I think it’s going to go on for a little while more. And we’re having a problem where we keep saying, ‘Alright, we’re going to take, like, a month off’ and then we get an offer to play throughout South America and wherever else. We know we have all these fans waiting for us to play there, so we can either take that month off or go play for those people, and we just keep saying ‘yes,’ for better or for worse. And it’s probably for better because we get to take our music to more places. There’s no rest, but we’ll save the rest for when we’re old and gray and try to do everything while we’re still young and have the means to be able to do it. We know this is a gift, and we really, really do appreciate it.”

With over 148 million YouTube views and a slew of covers, Imagine Dragons fans are definitely feeling the love. From playing 6-hour sets in casinos on the Las Vegas strip to sold out venues all over the world, Dan Reynolds, D. Wayne Sermon, Daniel “Z” Platzman, and Ben McKee are enjoying their success on the road.

“This is what we live for as a band, playing to an audience that’s never seen us before,” Reynolds says.

The boys will be playing two sold out shows at the South Side Ballroom in Dallas this weekend and I have two tickets to give away for Friday’s show.  All you have to do is leave a comment below with the name of  your favorite Imagine Dragons song. For two additional entries head over to Facebook and follow the band and tweet this post with the hashtag #nightvisionstour. The winner will be announced on Thursday. Good luck!

New Video & Music Update! Katy Perry’s Roar Covered by Sarah Sellers

Sarah Sellers Well hello my lovely readers, it’s been too long. The world of music has officially sucked me in and it’s not giving me back! I’ve been busy singing until I literally can’t sing anymore and trying to keep up with all the amazing pop music coming out this summer.

Since I gave up the desk job in April I’ve had the pleasure of performing with some of Dallas’ best musicians on a weekly basis. It’s been such a growing and amazing experience to share the stage with such exceptional talent and have the opportunity to tune my own skills. To say it’s been a challenge at times is definitely an understatement. The voice is a finicky mistress and she just flat out tells me when she’s done, at times right in the middle of a performance.  I’m definitely learning a massive amount of control and endurance during my performances that will hopefully make me a better and long lasting performer.

Aside from performing every week I’m still chipping away at the writing machine. Growing up as a singer I always dabbled in writing but never considered myself a strong lyricist. This last year working with my production team has taught me so much about the art of a good song. It continues to push me and I’m excited to put some quality work out to the world.

So while I continue to write, record and perform I’ll keep having some fun behind the camera making videos for you guys. This video by far was the most fun I’ve had. What started as a Sarah Sellers “typical” cover idea – video, mic, guitar and singer – turned into a new track and a new series I’m starting called the Backyard Sessions. Why not right? So check out my latest cover of Katy Perry’s Roar and check back for my cover of Jessie J’s Wild VERY soon!

Happy listening!

 

New YouTube Video! Jay Z & Justin Timberlake – Holy Grail & Mirrors Mashup!

Jay Z just released his new album, Magna Carta, and I am loving his collab with JT on the track Holy Grail! When I heard it I instantly thought it would be cool and different to mash it up with JT’s Mirrors. So check it out, share it with your friends and let me know what you think!

Arrangement and piano by Josh Goode.

New Video! Get Lucky – Daft Punk feat. Pharrell Williams [Cover] – Sarah Sellers

To say the last few months have been crazy is a major understatement. Since my last post I’ve quit my day job, become a full time musician and joined an amazing team at Lyric Marketing to help satiate my marketing side. It’s been the most satisfying move I’ve ever made and I couldn’t be happier. Now it’s just time to take that time management course.

It’s been too long since I’ve posted a new video and the second I heard this song I new I wanted to cover it. I’m joined again by my amazing producer and guitar player Josh Goode! So check it out and give me some love by sharing it with your friends!

What song should I cover next? Let me know in the comments field below.

StageIT Online Concert!

Next Tuesday, February 19th, at 7pm I’ll be doing an online concert with country artist Adrian Johnston! As a massive music lover I love the idea of sharing the stage, or in this case…your monitor, with different artists and genres. We’ll be putting on a 30 minute show, two 15 minute sets, with singer/songwriter and producer Josh Goode!

If you’re a first time user to StageIt it will cost you $5 to buy tokens but the show is only $2! So click the link below for all the info and to buy your tickets. See you guys on Tuesday!!! 🙂

What covers do you want to see me perform? Let me know in the comments below!

StageIt Online Concert with Sarah Sellers and Adrian Johnston

 

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